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Talon LaClair
Talon LaClair becomes just the eighth player in Lenoir-Rhyne softball history to earn All-American honors.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Splits Doubleheader With Catawba

Talon LaClair and Julia Mardigian each homered twice as the Lenoir-Rhyne Softball team split with Catawba on Wednesday afternoon. In game one, Morgan Beeler allowed just three hits in a complete game shutout. The Bears rally in the night cap fell just short as Catawba held on for a 7-5 win to earn the split.

In game one, the Bears jumped all over Catawba with a five-spot in the second highlighted by a three-run home run from Mardigian. LR then put the game away with a four-spot in the bottom of the fourth inning. The inning started with back-to back home runs from Katelyn Rackard and LaClair.

Beeler threw her fourth shutout of the month as the senior scatted just three singles while striking out six as Beeler won her SAC leading 15th game. Anna Blume and Cassidy Wall joined Rackard with two hits as Blume and Rackard each drove in two while Mardigian drove in three with her bomb.

In game two, LR’s scoreless streak stopped at 16 innings as Catawba scored an unearned run in the first. Mardigian tied it with her second homerun of the day in the bottom of the 1st.

After Catawba scored two more unearned runs in the third, they broke the game open with a four-run spot in the fourth to take a 7-1 lead. The game remained 7-1 until the bottom of the seventh when the Bears rallied to score four runs before recording an out but the Bears could not push the tying run across as Catawba held on for a 7-5 win.

Lauren Rakes (9-4) took the loss allowing seven runs (four earned) in 3 2/3 innings. Brooklin Heavner pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief. Rakes and Rackard had two hits a piece as Rackard had a pair RBIs again in game two.

LaClair extended her hitting streak to seven games and her home runs were number 23 and 24 of her career. Rackard and Mardigian each have nine career home runs after these contests.

Rakes recorded her 100th career hit in game two. Beeler now has 395 strikeouts, five shy of 400 in her career.

For the third straight SAC series, weather played a role as Tuesday’s rain forced a one day delay in action. Catawba snaps a four-game losing streak with the win in game two.

The Bears are closing in on their 1200th all-time victory and have won 1195 career games with the win in game one. 339 of them wins have been SAC victories.

Lenoir-Rhyne moves up two spots to No. 22 in this weeks NFCA Coaches Poll. Beeler was named SAC Pitcher of the Week Tuesday for the third straight week. She made her 70th career start in the circle today.

Rakes made her 90th career appearance in the circle placing her with the 8th most in program history.

The Bears are 27-7 overall, 9-5 in the South Atlantic Conference. They will host Virginia-Wise on Saturday. First-pitch is schedule for 2:00 PM.